Cheating On My Novel

I’m currently going through a mild version of writer’s block. “How,” you might ask, “are you going through writer’s block yet composing your first blog post in almost a year?” Reread the first sentence and you’ll see the word mild in there.

It’s only when working on the novel that this mild writer’s block shows up. I’m nearing the novel’s completion yet find myself staring at the blinking cursor. Everything’s been mapped out. I know exactly what comes next. The issue is the wording. I’m scared it’s total shit and that the novel’s future readers will get antsy. Bury the book out of embarrassment. “Can’t see what I’ve been reading these past few weeks. Nope haven’t been reading anything. Eric Sazer? Who the hell’s that?”

On the outset of writing this flash nonfiction essay I saw it serving two parts: as a procrastination tool and a place for me to vent. Watching these words form upon the page, I’m having a bit of fun. If my novel was my wife, this blog is my mistress. This blog and I rented an old Mercedes convertible and together we’re riding through the countryside on Memorial Day weekend. Back at home, the novel’s wiping away all the piss I accidentally dribbled on the bathroom floor.

I love you, novel, but fuck you. You’re driving me nuts. I’m gonna go wild with my blog. I’ll print pages of you out, novel, and use that to wipe my ass. Leave the shit-stained pages in the middle of the woods. Let the squirrels and mice nibble away at the bullshit words printed on the page.

Okay, now I feel like an asshole. What kind of future book salesman am I? One day, it’ll be available at a bookstore near you. On that day when your eyes land upon the spine, will you splurge and invite this novel into your life? Or will you envision the novel causing an epidemic in your home, where immediately upon purchasing it, every book on your shelf would suddenly turn into a massive pile of manure?

I hope that doesn’t happen. As a matter of fact, I will return the Mercedes convertible, kiss my mistress farewell and return home. I’ll lift the novel off the bathroom floor, bathe it. Make passionate love to the novel. Clean my own urine dribbles off the bathroom floor. Then on the day this novel is available for purchase, I’ll make sure it comes with a roll of paper towels, rubber gloves and organic house cleaner. Just in case.

Ya never know, right?

The 1,000 lb. Brother, Part Two

Just like in the dreams when the dreamer struggles to open his eyes, such was the case with Anton. It wasn’t fear that prevented him from seeing what was on the other side of his lids, rather a thick layer of gunk coating his left eye.

While scraping the gunk off, he glanced over at a candle lit table using his perfectly working right eye. There sat Ursula seated in a tan sequin dress. Naughty thoughts filled his mind. If his head wasn’t pounding, he would have leaped off the sofa and tore the woman’s dress off.

His clean left eye revealed more at the candle lit table. Opposite Ursula was the fit man in the towel. He, however, had removed the towel at some point and slipped into business attire. The two held champagne glasses in the air and appeared frozen in suspense.

“Hello,” Anton groaned.

They did not budge.

“Ursula,” he said with greater diction.

Stillness.

“Yuri,” Anton shouted, gazing at the shut door of his brother’s bedroom.

Ursula and the fit man lowered their glasses. They winked at one another. Suddenly, the fit man bolted out of his chair and raced over to Anton.

“So glad you’re awake. How are you feeling?”

“Beside a throbbing head and a bit confused, fine. Where’s my brother?”

The fit man exploded with laughter. “You hear that, Ursula?”

“He’s a funny one,” she said, chuckling.

“Your brother, you say?” The fit man asked in jest.

Anton nodded.

“I don’t know.” The fit man looked around the room. “Ursula, have you seen this man’s brother anywhere?”

“Very good question. It seems, Anton, your brother has been a bit hard to find lately.”

“What do you mean?” Anton swung his legs off the sofa, nearly kicking the fit man to the floor. “Where has he been?”

“The only way to find out,” the fit man said, repositioning himself on the sofa, “is to go on a treasure hunt.”

“A treasure hunt!” Ursula guffawed. “Where do you think we’d find him? Under a rock?”

“If not there then inside the cupboard.”

“Come on, you two.” Anton pleaded. “I haven’t seen my brother in a year. I’m very worried about him.

The fit man shifted in his seat.

Ursula cleared her throat and then stood, making her way to the sofa.

Both Ursula and the fit man rubbed Anton’s back.

“Perhaps I knocked you over too hard,” Ursula said.

“Do you require medical assistance?” The fit man asked.

“Medical assistance? No. Why would I need medical assistance?” Anton felt them moving closer. He squeezed his knees together so his legs wouldn’t rub against theirs.

“You did bleed,” Ursula aid.

“You bled heavily, Anton. If mom were here, she’d take you to the emergency room, no questions asked.”

“You’re right if my mom was here, she would have checked me into a hospital a long time ago.”

“Oh God,” Ursula removed her hand from Anton’s back and placed it over her mouth.

“Anton, Mom did check you into a hospital a long time ago. A mental hospital. St. Ives.”

“St. Ives.” Anton frowned. “That’s a prison not a hospital.”

“Right. Hold on one second.” The fit man stood and then motioned for Ursula to join him in a far corner of the room. There he whispered, “I’m getting a weird feeling about this one.”

“Yea. Same here,” Ursula said, flashing a quick grin at Anton.

“You think this one is dangerous?”

“I wouldn’t say dangerous,” she studied Anton who was hunched over on his knees staring at Yuri’s bedroom door. “More clingy.”

“Like he’d never leave?”

“Yea,” Ursula gagged. “Yuck!”

“Yuck indeed. Tell you what,” the fit man said. “How about I take him around the block to find his ‘brother’ and then later, you and I can have a ton of fun?”

“Please hurry up, then,” she moved in for a kiss. It was too quick. She wanted more. As he moved to attend to Anton, Ursula grabbed the fit man’s shoulders and whispered in his ears,”I love you, Yuri.”

Fucking Auto-Correct

The number of times I edited The 1,000 lb. Brother, Part One is absurd! All because of auto-correct. Makes me and my characters appear illiterate.

In the case of any unusual wording for future posts, blame damned auto-correct. I beg you to please tug at my shirt sleeves (if you’re in my physical company) or send me a polite email at sazerfilms@gmail.com to let me know of this weird error. It’ll be fixed in a heartbeat.

Happy days or nights or something in between!

The 1,000 lb. Brother, Part One

Yuri weighed 1,000 pounds. The man ate all day and night. Never slept. Only snoozed for minutes at a time. The poor man had so many bags under his eyes, one could store artillery inside them.

Clothing Yuri was impossible. The only thing that fit him was a 20 foot sail that his muscly brother, Anton, stole off a boat. The owner of the sailboat filed a report with the police. Surveillance cameras showed Anton lugging the sail into his car and then driving off. Police picked Anton up and threw him into a musty, dimly lit room.

“Ya sold it?” the detective interrogated.

“Of course, I did. Needed the money.”

“And who’d you sell it to?”

“Can’t remember. It was night. Everything I do is at night.”

“Right.” The detective scribbled notes in his legal pad. “Man or woman?”

“Androgynous.”

“Androgynous?”

“Seriously, I couldn’t tell.”

Anton was imprisoned for a year where, for the most part, he paced his cell worrying about his brother’s wellbeing. How in the fuck will Yuri eat? The man had to roll himself to the bathroom and then piss in a sideways facing commode. Their younger sister was around but she was too busy getting fucked at nightclubs. Selfish bitch.

The year in prison was hard on Anton. Inmates knocked him around, busting his lip open a few times. The prison guards dribbled scalding oatmeal on his back. He only made one friend in the prison but that person hung himself in the tenth month of Anton’s sentence.

Once released, Anton hitched a ride back to Yuri’s. He didn’t go up right away. Instead, he paid a visit to a deli. Ordered two turkey sandwiches. Ate one on a park bench. The other was for his brother.

Anton banged on his brother’s door.

“Yuri,” he hollered.

Some nimble being hopped on the hardwood floor and yanked the door open. It was a tanned brunette wearing what looked like a homemade bikini.

“I’m Ursula,” she grinned.

“Ursula, hi. Is my brother here?”

“Oh my gosh,” she climbed his chest and wrapped her thin arms around him. “You’re Anton. Welcome home. Come in.” Ursula lowered herself to the ground and grabbed his hand. “Your brother will be thrilled to see you. He’s in the shower right now.”

“The shower,” his eyebrows furrowed. “How’d you get him in there?”

“You silly,” she slapped him in the gut. “He got himself in there.”

“Wow, that’s unusual…”

“Is it?” She smirked. “How do you get in the shower?”

“Touché.” My god, Anton thought, what a lovely girl. How in hell did she wind up in my brother’s apartment?

“What you got there?” She pointed at the turkey sandwich.

“Oh, it’s for my brother.”

“Only for your brother? Not for me too?”

“Well,” Anton stammered. “I guess you two can share it.”

“May I smell it?” She grabbed the turkey sandwich out his hand and then knocked him to the ground.

Anton went in and out of consciousness.

Paper rustled in his ear.

Then loud grunts.

Snorts.

Blood trickled down his head.

Turkey debris sprayed everywhere.

Deep sighs.

“Let me get you a blanket,” she growled.

Sudden warmth.

A fit man wrapped in a towel hovered over Anton.

“Why hello there, Anton,” the fit man said.

That was the last Anton saw until later that night.

Ugh…do I have to?

It’s 3:50 pm on Monday. I’d rather do anything else than write this blog post. Such as Netflix. God, that sounds wonderful. Lounge on my bed. Rest my head on a pillow. Space out to Ryan Phillipe kicking ass so he can reunite with his wife and daughter in Shooter.

The better, more mature part of me prevented myself from going down that avenue. Mostly due to the fact that I set a goal to walk at least 5,000 steps a day. Each week the step count will increase by 1,000. Today, I’ve only walked 1,341 steps. That’s no good. I got to get out there. Get to 5,000 or more. Please, God, let that happen before the weather worsens.

It’s amazing how far I’d go to not update my blog. So far today, I’ve used two methods of distraction. One, laundry. Two, disassembled the kitchen sink pipes to scrape the moldy gelatinous grime from within. The latter was a must as the water would not go down.

Now I’m parked on a bench outside the Mudd Puddle Coffee Roasters in New Paltz. There’s a slight breeze. Feels like a tornado could be around the corner.

Wow, I’m scrambling for words. I so baldy want to entertain you. I want your praise. I want you to walk away feeling inspired and take action. Yet the words feel flat.

When I work on the novel, it isn’t like this. The characters suck me into their ridiculous lives. I chuckle like a madman as I record their fictional mishaps and fortunes onto the page. There’s a gorgeous confidence when in novel writing mode. Also, I’m not publishing the novel until the whole damned thing is done.

This blog scares the daylights out of me. I tell myself the blog needs to convert the reader into a client. “Oh hire me! Hire me. Hire this half-wit! Hire this nonsense machine who writes children’s books for adults. Hire the fool who can fantasize his way through a job interview but in reality boasts in an off-putting insane manner.”

I admit, that last paragraph was fun to write. It forced me to be real. Maybe there’s greater intimacy between you (the reader) and me. If not, that’s okay. You’ll live. I’ll live. I’ll continue to show up at this blog terrified as shit.

Now, for the love of God (you must think I’m religious mentioning God’s name twice. I’m not. Just spiritual), I must take a walk. Perhaps you do too. Whatever you do with your time, I implore that you make it your best. I’ll be back when I’m back (which will hopefully be next week if I can work up the courage).

Get Your Own Personal Face

That’s right ladies and gentlemen! Get your own personal face right here. Tired of what the mirror says about you? Are those pesky neighbor kids point laughing at your ugly nose and buck teeth? Well right here where I am, I trade you your pock-marked face for something that will soothe strangers. Your phone will be ringing off the hook with requests for dates. It’ll be like Beatlemania all over again except you’ll be the only star running through alleyways and dressing like a hobo. When you’re ready to give up your soul (oops, did I say that)…your grossness for a new personal face, shout me out. Hashtag the fuck out of me #bitchwantnewface #uglymugnomore #doublechindestroyer #asswipingoldface #newpersonalfacedoc

Who Do You Listen To?

While riding the Metro-North into Manhattan in late December, I was reading The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. I marched through Grand Central and continued downtown on Madison Avenue where I pictured piles of checks handed to me. “Pay to the order of Eric Sazer, Three hundred sixty-five thousand and two-hundred twenty-one dollars”, “Pay to the order of Mister Eric Sazer for the amount of Eighty-eight thousand, nine-hundred and fifty three dollars,” “Dear Eric, Please deposit this check written out to you, Eric Sazer, for the full amount of four-hundred and two thousand, seven-hundred and sixteen dollars. Enjoy it”. Block after block my mere thoughts alone were putting me into the billionaire bracket.

Anyone who knows me personally will attest to the fact that if greed rides though my bones, it does so on extremely low dosages. This desire to be wealthy rides more on the coattails of helping the world while doing the things I love rather than getting sloppy rich, lazy and unconscious. I could write an entire essay or blog post on how I’d use money to positively change the world around me (note to self).

By the time I hit East Thirty-third Street, I had enough funds to purchase Murray Hill. The glow within was so enormous I just couldn’t contain myself. I looked over at a younger man on his cell phone. We exchanged glances and then he asked if I needed any help. Shoving my wad of etheric billions into an unknown abyss, I shrugged. The younger man rushed off the phone with his mother and asked me who I am. I tell him my name and that I’m a writer. Coincidentally, he’s a marketer seeking a writer for a specific project. The nature of this project wasn’t revealed until days later: Ghostwriting the lyrics to a hit song for a fourteen-year-old girl with a golden voice.

Despite my limited experience in songwriting I agreed to the assignment. Why? Spoiler alert—the main character in my novel becomes a lyricist. The excitement working on this ghostwriting project ebbed (due to my insecurities as a lyricist) but mostly flowed (come on, who wouldn’t want to be wealthy after writing a hit song that makes millions happy?). On Thursday, January 28th, my excitement for this assignment came to a screeching halt when the young marketer asked for two first draft verses due on a meeting tentatively set for Sunday afternoon. Terror is what killed the excitement. “Four days isn’t enough time,” I told myself. “I really need to sit with this and let the words seep out naturally.” Oh the lies! The deception!

Later that day, I get on a call with a wonderful woman who used to work in the music industry. When I shared with her this project along with my terrors (which by then had spiraled out of control. “I’m no songwriter! Who am I fooling?), she did what any being would do…she acted as my mirror. At the end of the call, I was 98% sure that I’d have to abandon the ghostwriting project. Then a small voice in my head said, “Eric, stranger things have happened. Who cares that you don’t have years of experience writing songs? What about the novel? How is the main character going to be a lyricist if you don’t know how to write lyrics yourself?”

These past two days, the voices of terror played a grueling match of Ping-Pong against the voices of encouragement. Late this morning the match finally came to an end when I shared my concerns with the music producer on this project. He urged me to ignore those voices of terror. “What’s the worst that will happen,” he argued. “You write a bad song? So what?” The music producer insisted that I give this more than a month’s shot. “If after three months and your lyrics are less then desirable, than we can revisit you moving on.” How wonderful it to see the voices of terror vanish into silence.

I’m no fool. The voice of terror has a way of creeping in when you least expect it. Everything can be honky dory one minute only for seconds later paralysis kicks in. It happens to the best of us. The outcome of this song is unknown. I could write killer lyrics but the girl with the golden voice may not know how deliver it. Another outcome—all the world agrees that the lyrics are God awful but something about the beat, the girl’s voice and a tiny quarter of one verse gets everyone off their seats, dancing, singing along, raising vibrations, ending wars…ooh the possibilities puts a chill down my spine.

So, reader, who do you listen to? Do you play it safe? Do you not get up on that stage during karaoke because you might be so damned good (note to self)? Are you the type to sit in the back row hiding under your winter coat during an interactive theatrical piece (note to self once again)? When finished writing your blog, do you push the ‘delete’ button (if there is one) instead of ‘publish’, reader? Please comment below.

I will leave you with the song that got me dancing at the end of my last blog post. Until next time!